Guide Posts for a Successful Exit Interview

Ever had a dream that you were resigning from an organisation and you got to tell your employer EXACTLY what you thought of them?  Did it go well? Were you congratulated on your positive and objective feedback or booed out of the building for bullish and bad behaviour?

Well, in real life such an opportunity does exist, it’s known as an exit interview.  An exit interview occurs at the end of the employment life-cycle and is triggered when an employee hands in their resignation letter.   [Usually] the Human Resources department who processes the resignation letter contacts the resigning employee and offers them the opportunity to meet and discuss why they are leaving.

Traditionally exit interviews were only offered to employees in the higher echelons of an organisation; today they are becoming more widely used.  A recent survey conducted by Happening People found that 1 in 3 respondents had been offered an exit interview when they last resigned from a job.

In preparation, Happening People provides its TOP 5 Guide Posts for a Successful Exit Interview

  1. Be positive
    An exit interview should be treated as an opportunity to provide objective information to the organisation for it to use to improve the business for existing and future employees and not viewed as a dumping ground for disgruntlement.  Be positive and approach the interview with enthusiasm.
  2. Be Objective
    Every resignation IS like a Hollywood movie, whilst they do not always end happily ever after, some end better than others.  It’s ok if your employment with a particular organisation hasn’t gone beautifully.  The exit interview is a perfect opportunity to clearly express what has gone well and what areas the organisation may choose to develop.  If the working experience hasn’t gone well don’t lay blame, offer an objective point of view and if you need to be critical make sure you offer it constructively.
  3. Be Factual
    Whilst an exit interview is voluntary your comments maybe and will most likely be recorded so be prepared and come to the interview with real examples of behaviours you have observed both positive and negative as well as situations you faced.  Remember to offer up the CAR method, what was the CONTEXT, what were the ACTIONS you took and what was the RESULT.
  4. Be Mindful of YOUR Legacy
    It can be tempting to take it easy while serving out your notice period. But remember how you behave in these final weeks will leave a lasting impression, a graceful exit will ensure you leave a legacy you can be proud of and it may hold the door open for future opportunities.
  5. Be prepared– some examples of Exit Interview Questions
    • What is the main reason for your leaving?
    • How do you feel about the organisation?
    • What aspects of your time with the organisation have you enjoyed?
    • What aspects of your time with the organisation have been least enjoyable?
    • Were you provided with enough training to complete your job?
    • How would you describe the culture or ‘feel’ of the organisation?
    • What can you say about the way your performance was measured, and the feedback to you of your performance results?
    • How well do you think the appraisal system worked for you?

Now it’s your turn!! We would love to hear from you! Tell us about your last resignation experience, the good the bad and the ugly.

Rather hang on to your staff than conduct an exit interview?  Happening People have People Management Consultants who can help!  Call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to


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